The Revue at 50 by Rudolph Ottley

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

If we liken the entirety of Carnival to an otherworldly event, you could say that beneath the auspices of the Calypso tent is where some of the most enduring, vital magic is made. In 2012, the Kalypso Revue toasted fifty years of existence, and carnival studies scholar Rudolph Ottley charts its growth between these hardbound covers. Beginning with Leslie Samaroo’s very germination of the idea for a carnival calyso tent in 1963, Ottley expertly ushers the calypso enthusiast and dilettante alike through the Revue’s years of history, development (and occasional bacchanal!)

Guided through chapters entitled “The Pulsating Seventies: Calypso versus Soca”; “The Grand Master’s Last Stand”; and “The Revue in the 21st Century”, among others, the reader is treated to the full sense of a cultivated history of our calypso, of how it has flourished and evolved within the tent, and in all our public spaces. In his December 2012 review, featured in the Trinidad Guardian, Peter Ray Blood attests to the combined beauty and power of The Revue at 50, describing it as a “must have” archival book.

From the first songs of Lord Melody and The Mighty Bomber, to the powerful reign of Lord Kitchener and Sugar Aloes, the Kalypso Revue’s major and minor players are here enshrined, guaranteed to live on in images and ink, making this publication a fine addition to sounds of their music and the memories of their performances.